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Posted: Fri May 14, 2021 14:43 pm

Well the trials have just about all taken place and I have to confess that I am a bit underwhelmed by the quality of the field for this yearís Derby. The Dante is generally a fairly informative race and on the face of it you would have to say that the winner Hurricane Lane (Frankel ex Gale Force x Shirocco) looks the part. He is 3 from 3, his pedigree would give you a degree of confidence that he will stay the 12 furlongs at Epsom and this year it might not be as hectic an event as in most years, which will suit any of Frankelís progeny. I always think they have 4 or 5 good runs in them before they get tricky so the race may just come in time for him. I just think he looks to do things very much in his own time and the track at Epsom will not suit him as much as York.
High Definition was sent off favourite for some inexplicable reason. He ran a respectable race and will surely strip fitter in a couple of weeks but he looks to me to need a bit more time. He is a big scopey horse and he may not come down the hill at Epsom. If he doesnít he will have no chance because he appears to lack tactical speed and like the Godolphin horse takes an age to get going. I think he needs a lot of things to go his way, probably a strong pace on good ground would be his best option. For me he would be one to put away for the back end but that is not how Coolmore work these days but he is surely a really good looking colt.
Third Realm winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial was a 14/1 winner. The time was very slow the ground soft (good to soft in places). He won fair and square and is bred for a Classic being by Sea The Stars out of a Mark of Esteem mare and the race is run down a hill more or less over the full derby distance so he should be OK with the trip and the track, but I just canít get away from the fact that no one expected him to win and the time was nearly 9 seconds slower than standard.
Derrinstown Derby Trial winner Bolshoi Ballet was perhaps the most visually impressive winner of a trial and the race has proved to be significant in recent years. He beat G1 winner Mac Swiney by nearly 7 lengths in a reasonable time. But he was beaten by Gear Up in France as a 2yo (Heavy) and Gear Up was a bit disappointing in the Dante. The thing that bothers me about Bolshoi Ballet is his pedigree. He is by Galileo out of an Anabaa mare. He (Anabaa) is one of those disruptive horses in a pedigree and you might not expect him to be the broodmare sire of a Derby winner, except he has done it before. Capri was bred along these lines so it can work. Treve was also bred on a similar cross so perhaps I shouldnít concern myself its just that there are a couple of negative affinities in his analysis and horses with one negative hardly ever win at G1 level. I used to say horse with 2 negatives Ďneverí win at G1 level but a year or so ago one did, I canít find it again but I think it was a very poor race in Chile or Argentina. Anyway we canít say they never win just that it looks unlikely. And for those who were taken by his performance the negatives are very small.
One thing is for sure I donít remember ever being less excited or thrilled by a Derby field there seems to be question marks against most of them. I am going to sit on the fence for a few days.
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